Whipple's disease

Last reviewed 03/2021

Whipple's disease is a rare systemic disease caused by the bacillus Tropheryma whippelii.

The disease usually has an insidious course with consequent delay in diagnosis. Initial features are non-specific with arthralgia, fever, malaise, cough and pleuritic chest pain. Characteristic small bowel dysfunction may occur between 1 and 10 years after onset. Histology of a small bowel biopsy is usually diagnostic.

Treatment consists of longterm broad spectrum antibiotics.